Best Paper For Ink Drawing And Watercolors In 2018 – Buyer’s Guide

Various types of paper can be used to create wonderful pieces of art. If you’re an artist wanting to know which is the best paper for your medium, keep reading.

Here I will explain why you should use specific paper for different art works and my picks for the best paper for ink drawing and watercolors.

If you have a particular interest in watercolor paints check out this wicked article on a beginners guide to watercolors! We also recommend checking out this very helpful buyer's guide on the best art markers for coloring.

At a Glance: Our Choice of the 5 Best Paper for Ink Drawing And Watercolors

Note: The links above take you to more information, current prices and customer reviews on Amazon. If you do purchase something we get a small commission, which has absolutely no effect on the eventual price that you pay.

Buyer's Tips: What you need to know when buying the best paper for ink drawing and watercolors

Are there different types?

  • Of paper? Yes, there is more out there than just your regular printer paper. The weight and texture of the paper can fully change a picture’s aesthetic.
  • Need a modern twist to your art, try using metallic paper. Bark paper can give an old style Earth feel to your work. Ink drawing in particular works best on paper which is slightly heavier than normal white. This is so the ink will not bleed and ruin your careful planning.

Watercolor paper

  • The best type of paper for ink drawing just happens to be watercolor paper! They are set correctly to cope with wet colors and not allow them to sink into the paper too much.
  • There are 3 different types of watercolor paper, hot pressed, cold pressed and rough. All are great for ink drawing and are included on this list.

Read ahead for my picks for the best paper for ink drawing and watercolors!

5 Best Paper For Ink Drawing And Watercolors

1. Canson XL

Canson XL Watercolor

Canson are a reputable brand who have produced this cold pressed paper pad. This acid free paper is 9 x 12 inches and has a smooth surface which can stand up to repeated washes; very useful when working with watercolors. This pad has 30 sheets of heavy paper, perfect for ink drawing to make sure those colors do not bleed!

  • Large paper
  • Pad is great to rip paper off easily
  • Average price
  • Might still need to stretch paper before using watercolors

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2. Bee Paper Cotton

Bee Paper Cotton

The Bee paper is 100% cotton sheet watercolor paper. Again this is cold pressed but is lighter than the Canson by nearly half. This pack is sized 6 x 9 inches but is slightly more expensive than others on the list. Bee makes up for the lack of size and increased price by providing 50 sheets of paper. This is plenty for any artists who wish to practise their sketches first.

  • Lots of sheets to practise on
  • 100% cotton
  • Lighter paper than others on the list
  • Little more expensive than the others

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3. Strathmore Bristol

Strathmore Bristol

The Strathmore is the highlight for many artists who prefer heavier and smoother paper for their ink work. Sized at 9 x 12 inches but only containing 20 sheets, this is priced the same as the Canson. This paper is ideal for ink drawing although using them for watercolors will still do the job well.

  • A sturdy paper
  • Good size
  • Perfect for ink drawing
  • Priced the same as Canson but less sheets
  • Absorbs a lot of ink! You may go through a lot of markers

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4. Fabriano Artistico

Fabriano Artistico

For a little difference, try these hot pressed sheets! At 5 x 7 inches, these are smaller than the others on the list but relatively heavy. A lovely smooth surface allows for repeated washes and great markings with ink work. There are only 25 sheets in this pack considering it is the most expensive on the list. However for watercolor work, the Fabriano is ideal.

  • Great for watercolors
  • Smooth and heavy sheets
  • Smaller size
  • Expensive

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5. Arches Cold Press

Arches Cold Press

This pad of paper contains an antimicrobial agent in order to resist mildew. Watercolor washes are welcome! There are 12 sheets of 9” x 12” textured paper. You can use ink and pens with the Arches paper but watercolors are the best medium. There are lots of peaks and valleys in these sheets which can make ink drawing a little complicated. Masking fluid can be used sparingly.

  • Perfect for watercolors
  • Great size
  • Least expensive
  • Only get 12 sheets

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So what is the best paper for ink drawing and watercolors?

Any artist out there using printer paper for ink drawing and watercolors, please stop! If you can, buy some proper paper. You can experiment with papers such as Vellum, Papyrus, Yupo and Metallic but try these once you’re used to your medium. These can add different textures and shades to inks and watercolors.

Arches is amazing for watercolors but the price is steep. Strathmore is great for ink but you get less sheets than the others on the list. Whichever paper you buy depends on how much you want to spend, the amount of sheets you need and which medium of art you prefer.

Overall my winner for the best paper for ink drawing and watercolors goes to the Canson. It’s a well known brand, a good amount of sheets and a large sized paper. It is also a great paper for both ink drawing and watercolors, win win.​

Image Credits:

Featured Image Source: Michèle Charron​ / CC BY-SA 2.0​[product-gallery]/0​

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